NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.
California could move 700 death row inmates to eight other facilities within the state where they will be housed with non-condemned prisoners and have access to rehabilitation and work programs, something a former district attorney calls “a slap to the face” to victims.
After weeks of facing heavy criticism from law enforcement over New York’s bail law, state Senate Democrats are considering a proposal to give judges more discretion over who is released from jail before trial.
Los Angeles County prosecutors are joining other district attorneys to use technology to wipe out or reduce as many as 66,000 old marijuana convictions years after California voters broadly legalized the drug.
(Subscription required) In an order filed on Monday, U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez said the Teamsters failed to demonstrate how the preliminary injunction, which bars the state from automatically categorizing motor carriers as employees unless they pass a three-part "ABC" test, will "irreparably injure" the state or the labor union.
(Subscription required) While her father’s work involved cleaning up radioactivity, Lee’s job today is to decide whether people get a clean slate. She oversees what’s known as a clean slate calendar in Alameda County. Law violators, who have typically completed probation, approach her with a request to have their criminal records expunged.
Los Angeles County is moving ahead with a bail reform pilot program, despite warnings from criminal justice reform advocates that the program's reliance on computerized risk assessment tools will perpetuate racial discrimination against defendants.
An influential criminal justice organization has renounced its support of pretrial risk assessment tools as a growing chorus of voices question their effectiveness and criticize them as being inherently racially biased.
The law is intended to reduce worker misclassification, making it harder for companies to treat workers as independent contractors. It establishes a test to determine whether workers are employees who should receive minimum wage, paid sick days and other benefits.
A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld schools’ authority to let transgender students use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, rejecting claims that the policy violated privacy and religious freedom.
The Supreme Court’s March calendar will have five cases, including one of two pending high-profile bail cases that could be affected by new legislation, which in turn could be overturned by a referendum that will be on the November ballot.
The California Supreme Court refused Tuesday to review the case of a man convicted of opening fire at a memorial event at a Valley Village restaurant, killing four people and wounding two others in April 2010.
The California Supreme Court refused Tuesday to review the case against a Duarte man convicted of killing a neighbor, shooting at another man and pointing a gun at several other people before leading sheriff’s deputies on a chase in August 2016.
(Subscription required) In two separate pilots, the California Health and Human Services Agency and the Judicial Council of California are looking at how they can do more to unify data, make it securely available and use it in a more timely fashion.
Clearly, there is work to do. Repeated audits have flagged problems with the state prison system’s rehabilitation programs. local jurisdictions haven’t necessarily made use of funds from AB109 for intended purposes. And it’s apparent that more must be done to address the problems of drug addiction, mental health and recidivism.
A 2004 California law that allows workers to sue their employers in the name of the state for wage and labor violations netted the state more than $88 million from businesses last year and has increased their compliance with workplace laws, according to a report released Tuesday by advocacy groups.
In her order, Judge Mueller found that the business groups that had filed suit were likely to prevail on their argument that AB 51 is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). And she found that, absent an injunction, AB 51 would cause irreparable harm to business groups not only by affecting the California employment market, but by exposing businesses to criminal charges.
California is the first state in the nation to ban the practice of charging parents for the cost of their children’s time in the juvenile justice system. But its new law, enacted in 2018, doesn’t require counties to forgive fees that parents were charged before 2018.
(Subscription required) The Teamsters have asked a Southern District judge to suspend a preliminary injunction on Assembly Bill 5, but a response filed by the California Trucking Association asks why the union, an intervenor-defendant, is asking for the suspension instead of the state defendant itself.
(Subscription required) The missive was sent Thursday, reporting on work by the Legislature's new Workplace Misconduct Unit investigating sexual harassment and other types of misconduct and discrimination. The letter stated that since it was formed, "Legislative employees have felt more comfortable with the improved process for dealing with workplace misconduct issues."
(Subscription required) For several years, Delucchi has presided over felony trials and preliminary hearings at the East County Hall of Justice, a facility nestled between rolling green hills. Although he often hears serious felony cases, the judge described his approach as informal.
The Ninth Circuit often makes use of rule 8.548, which allows certain courts outside the California state judicial system to ask the Supreme Court to decide questions of California law. The Supreme Court is almost always obliging. Last year, the federal appellate court sought help in five cases and the Supreme Court agreed to answer questions in four of them.
The algorithms are supposed to reduce the burden on understaffed agencies, cut government costs and — ideally — remove human bias. Opponents say governments haven’t shown much interest in learning what it means to take humans out of the decision making. A recent United Nations report warned that governments risked “stumbling zombie-like into a digital-welfare dystopia.”
A week after striking California’s attempt to ban mandatory arbitration in employment cases, a federal judge on Friday highlighted how lawmakers approved the flawed labor law despite multiple warnings from lawyers and a past governor that it was on shaky ground.
(Subscription required) Attorneys representing Justice Jeffrey Johnson in a months-long sexual harassment disciplinary hearing said in a brief filed this week the embattled jurist should be allowed to keep his seat, alleging bias by the special masters who recommended his removal from the bench.